To strengthen the immune system, preventing the development of some diseases and helping the body to react to those that have already manifested, it is important to eat more foods rich in vitamins and minerals, reduce the consumption of fat, sugar and industrialized sources, with dyes and preservatives, and it may be indicated to take drugs or supplements that increase immunity.
In addition, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also one of the best strategies to keep the body’s natural defense system always strong and efficient and that is why it is recommended not to smoke, eat healthy food, practice light or moderate exercise on a regular basis, have the right weight, sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, avoid stress and consume alcohol in moderation. These habits must be followed by everyone throughout life, not only at times when the person is ill or easily ill.
Foods that boost immunity
Food is important for the proper functioning of the immune system and foods rich in omega-3, selenium, zinc, probiotics, vitamins A, C and E are the most suitable for increasing the immune system, since they favor the production of defense of the organism more efficiently. Some examples are:
- Omega-3 : sardines, salmon, herring, tuna, chia seeds, walnuts and flaxseed;
- Selenium : Brazil nuts, wheat, rice, egg yolk, sunflower seeds, chicken, bread, cheese, cabbage and wheat flour;
- Zinc : oysters, shrimp, beef, chicken, turkey and fish, liver, wheat germ, whole grains and nuts (Brazil nuts, peanuts and Brazil nuts);
- Vitamin C : orange, tangerine, pineapple, lemon, strawberry, melon, papaya, mango, kiwi, broccoli, tomato, watermelon and unpeeled potato;
- Vitamin E : sunflower seeds, hazelnut, peanuts, almonds, pistachio, mango, olive oil, tomato sauce, sunflower oil, walnuts and papaya;
- Vitamin A : carrot, sweet babata, mango, spinach, melon, chard, red pepper, broccoli, lettuce and egg;
- Probiotics : natural yogurt, fermented milk like kefir or Yakult to maintain intestinal health.
The person who needs to strengthen his immune system must consume a greater amount of these foods, on a daily and regular basis, not only when he is already ill, but to prevent him from becoming ill again.
Natural remedies to boost immunity
A good way to improve the body’s immunity naturally is to take a food supplement in the form of capsules, which can be purchased at pharmacies, drugstores or health food stores. Some examples are:
1. Bovine colostrum
Bovine colostrum is a nutritional supplement rich in enzymes, antibodies and growth factors that could help increase the body’s defenses. The recommended dose varies between 20 and 60 grams per day.
2. Astragalus seeds
The Astragalus membranaceus seed supplement is rich in flavonoids that can have cardioprotective effects, in addition to activating the body’s defense cells. The recommended dose of the supplement ranges from 5 to 10 mg per day.
Echinacea is apparently more effective in combating disease and accelerating recovery, especially in people who get sick more often. The recommended dose and capsules can vary between 900 to 1500 mg per day. If it is liquid, it is recommended that 2.5 ml of echinacea be used three times a day or up to 10 ml a day.
4. Propolis extract
Propolis extract has immunomodulatory effects, as it stimulates the cells of the immune system and, therefore, can be used in the treatment of acute and chronic inflammation and in diseases of the respiratory tract, skin ulcers, periodontitis and sinusitis.
Although they can be purchased without a prescription, it is best to consult a nutritionist before being eaten.
How to increase immunity quickly
To increase immunity quickly, making the body stronger in the fight against aggressive agents, you must:
- Adopt good health habits , performing physical activity, sleeping properly and avoiding stressful situations;
- Avoid the cigarette or be exposed to the cigarette;
- Expose yourself to the sun daily , preferably until 10 am and after 4 pm, without sunscreen, to increase the production of vitamin D in the body;
- Consume healthy foods and maintain a balanced diet , which includes the consumption of fruits and vegetables, preferably organic or produced at home without pesticides;
- Avoid fast food and industrialized foods and frozen foods as much as pizza and lasagna, for example, as it contains substances that promote inflammation of the body;
- Avoid taking medication without medical advice;
- Drink about 2 liters of mineral or filtered water every day.
In addition, if you have a disease caused by viruses, such as the flu, for example, it is important to avoid frequent closed public places, such as shopping malls, theaters and cinemas, as well as it is important to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, as well as avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands. In this way, it is possible to reduce the risk of acquiring the disease and the development of complications, especially if the person has a weaker immune system.
How to increase immunity of baby and children
The best way to strengthen the baby’s immune system is to invest in breastfeeding on demand, as breast milk contains all the nutrients that allow the immune system to develop properly. In the case of the baby taking milk formulas, supplementation with vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper development of the immune system can be done, so the baby’s body can produce more defense cells that are capable of combating infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria .
In the case of babies from 6 months of age, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding and ensure a healthy and diversified diet that includes the foods mentioned above, so that the body’s defenses are stimulated.
In addition, it is important that vaccines are up to date and good health habits are maintained, such as not smoking near the baby and avoiding giving medications without the guidance of the pediatrician.
Check out some more tips from our pediatrician to increase immunity in the baby .
Recipes that strengthen the immune system
Consuming natural fruit juices, teas and vitamins prepared with fruits and vegetables is also a good way to boost immunity. Some good recipes are:
1. Beet juice with carrots
- 2 slices of raw beets
- 1/2 raw carrot
- 1 orange with pomace
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 glass of water
Beat all the ingredients in a blender or mixer and take next, preferably without adding sugar or straining.
2. Banana smoothie with nuts
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 slice of papaya
- 1 spoon of cocoa powder
- 1 package of unsweetened plain yogurt
- 1 handful of nuts
- 1 Brazil nut
- 1/2 spoon of honey
Beat all the ingredients in a blender or mixer and take next.
3. Echinacea tea
- 1 teaspoon of echinacea root or leaves
- 1 cup boiling water
Place 1 teaspoon of the echinacea root or leaves in a cup of boiling water. Let stand for 15 minutes, strain and drink 2 times a day.
Causes of low immunity
Some situations that can cause the weakening of the immune system are poor diet, poor hygiene habits, not being vaccinated when necessary, and smoking. In addition, during pregnancy it is normal for the immune system to fall, which occurs naturally in all women, as a way of preventing the mother’s body from rejecting the baby, and during treatment against cancer or the HIV virus.
People who have a syndrome or other illnesses like lupus or malnutrition also naturally have a less efficient defense system and become ill frequently. The use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants used in the case of organ transplants, during cancer treatment or with the prolonged use of some anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Dipyrone, also decrease the body’s immunity.
How to tell if your immune system is weak
The immune system is composed of the white portion of the blood, responsible for the production of antibodies whenever the organism is exposed to some foreign body, such as viruses or bacteria. However, the defense mechanism can also be considered to be composed of the skin itself and the acidic secretion of the stomach, which often neutralizes the microorganisms present in food, preventing them from developing inside the human body.
What characterizes a weakened immune system is the increase in the number of times that the person becomes ill, presenting flu, colds and other viral infections such as herpes, very often. In this case, it is likely that your body is not able to produce defense cells efficiently, which facilitates the onset of diseases. In this case, in addition to being routinely ill, the person may show symptoms such as tiredness, fever, and have simple diseases that worsen easily, such as a cold that turns into a respiratory infection, for example. See more symptoms that indicate low immunity .